Remembering Bill Heese

RPMDA is sad to announce the death of one of our family, Bill Heese.
Here is a write-up sent to us from Dan D from NAMM.

Bill Heese had a reputation like no other in the music publishing world, a reputation well deserved. Bill was not only a mainstay in the industry for over 40 years, he was a tireless promoter of the music publishing history. Bill played a vital role in several publishing associations including RPMDA, MPA, and even the oral history program for NAMM. He became a mentor and an inspiration for many who witnessed his example and hoped to follow in his footsteps. Bill’s love of the print world may only be equaled by his love of his family and baseball, making it fitting that the NAMM Resource Center created a legacy collection named after Bill that seeks to collect photographs and other materials depicting baseball stars playing musical instruments.

Here is a segment from his 2008 NAMM Oral History interview:

Like so many people in the music business, I was very proud to be Bill’s friend. There was something extra special about his desire for all of us to succeed. He knew that if individuals are successful the industry would remain strong. He cared about the industry and was passionate about the individual. How lucky we were to have Bill Heese among us.

Bill was present at the creation of the modern RPMDA, where publisher and retailers enjoy the best of partnerships, working together to lift up the print music industry. For years, Bill Heese and George Hotton served as volunteer ambassadors to the board, representing the publisher point of view and paving the way for today’s RPMDA board of directors and officer track that includes both wholesalers/distributors and retailers. When I think of Bill Heese I think of goodwill for all, because that was his mantra. What a lovely gentleman, and the epitome of a sales professional.

Treasuring fond memories of Bill,

Madeleine Crouch

I remember the first time I met Bill over 20 years ago, his genuine interest in learning about my store and me was in fact exactly what the print industry is all about. I am sorry that one of our print industry lights has been dimmed, however I celebrate that he touched so many of our lives in such a special way that his legacy and love for the industry will carry forward.


Bill was one of those guys who would simply call out of the blue to see how I was doing…how business was going…and quick to offer advice if asked. I was just entering the print field as he was set to retire…but he took the time to learn about what I and our company was doing and expressed genuine concern for the challenges we face(d). A true professional…and he will certainly be missed.


Bill was SUCH a nice guy. Never heard a bad word from him. Always cared and offered helpful suggestions when he could. I know he was supportive of everyone and had exactly the right attitude we love to boast about in our industry. He will very much be missed.


1 thought on “Remembering Bill Heese”

  1. Sad to hear about Bill. He was extremely knowledgeable about our industry, and professional in his dealings with both large and small accounts. For decades, he was the face of Carl Fischer Publications in New York for me, yet his interest in the health and well-being of the overall print music industry transcended any specific catalog. I felt a special bond with him, since I was the buyer at Carl Fischer of Chicago for over 20 years and met with him on a regular basis. We would talk not only about CF print sales, but also the comings and goings, ins and outs, and background details of happenings at music stores across the country. Always fun to hear the stories and get the music news from him. I miss him already . . .

Comments are closed.